A pack of cyclists is a highly ordered society. You only have to look at a peleton in the Tour de France to be astounded by how close they race and how few crashes there are. There are many unwritten rules and codes of conduct to maintain this society and uphold the multi tiered etiquette which a rider ignores at his or her peril.
A Director Sportive in a race is the Race Director and will be engaged in that event from beginning to end making all key decisions on teams, route, traffic, escorts and press.
In non race conditions - The Fireflies appoint a Director Sportif every year to keep order, direct the support team, make crucial decisions during the day, and cut through the noise of 60 alpha riders all of whom have strong opinions.
Day to day this is important for good progress:- daily briefings on the route, the potential hazards in the weather, the road and traffic conditions and looking out for one another and the slower riders. The DS role becomes crucial should there be any serious issues:closed roads, extreme temperatures or weather conditions when it might be necessary to re-route or pull all the riders off the road. Worse still - an accident or injury when swift decisions and a single voice of leadership can make all the difference.
Candidates not only have to be accomplished and respected riders, but they also need to have good leadership and and decision making skills plus a good level of diplomacy given the unruly group they will be asked the lead down a stretch of CA highways and byways over 550 miles and six days.
2016: RICK LAWLEY
2015: TARA DE MARCO
2014: ERIC TRAGESER
2013: ERIK PRESS
2012: BEN HAMPSHIRE
2011: BRYAN FARHY
2010: BRYAN FARHY
2009: BRYAN FARHY
2008: UNASSIGNED - There were only 5 riders.